August News Update from Watershed
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Watershed assists in Joyce v O’Brien ex turpi causa non oritur actio case

May 2013 saw the Court of Appeal uphold the original verdict of Joyce v O’Brien, in which Insurers were second defendants.

Watershed Claims conducted preliminary investigations, on the Insurers behalf.

Insurers initially declined an indemnity, on the grounds that the Claimant’s head injury occurred during the course of a joint criminal enterprise, which was outside the scope of the policy. The Claimant fell from the back of a Ford Transit van, whilst trying to stand on the rear step or bumper of the van, to keep in a protruding set of stolen ladders. The van turned a corner too quickly, whilst being driven at speed from the scene of the theft. Although it was agreed that the actual manoeuvre caused the Claimant to fall from the van, the reason for the manoeuvre was to expedite an escape from the scene of the robbery.

The appeal was dismissed and it was decreed, recognising the wider public policy considerations, that:

“... where the character of the joint criminal enterprise is such that it is foreseeable that a party or parties may be subject to unusual or increased risks of harm as a consequence of the activities of the parties in pursuance of their criminal objectives, and the risk materialises, the injury can properly be said to be caused by the criminal act of the claimant even if it results from the negligent or intentional act of another party to the illegal enterprise.”

Watershed excels in MOJ service provision

Watershed Claims proactive approach to providing clients with a quick and reliable MOJ response, has proved a great success.

Watershed posted a 98% success ratio, between January and May, failing to hit target on only 4 cases.

The average turn around time for an MOJ case was 6.4 days.

We continually analyse our service provision and are endeavouring to improve this service even further, recognising the importance of an early response, to improve clients’ claim spend and increase the duration of time for the handler to make a decision.

Watershed Claims bolsters its marketing department with the addition of Jody Wilson and Tristan Jackson

As part of their ambitious expansion plans, Watershed Claims have employed the services of Jody Wilson (ex-Silverdale Investigation Solutions Ltd, Home Group, Aviva and Aon) and promoted Tristan Jackson BA (Hons), Dip CII (ex Allianz, Manchester) internally, to assist with the marketing and business development of the company.

Fraudulent claims now total more than £1bn per year

The Daily Telegraph reported this distressing figure on 1 July 2013, revealing that Britain is now the most litigious country in the world for this type of personal injury claim, exceeding even the Americans.

The findings from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IfoA) report advise that the increase of the “claims culture” and aggressive “claims farming” by injury lawyers has caused a continued increase in the number of reported injury claims, mainly from the exposure of retrospective incidents.

Their report found that the average cost of a claim in 2012 was £9,512.

The report showed a clear correlation between claims hotspots and the location of claims management companies.

The Transport Select Committee has previously suggested that the UK was the whiplash capital of the world.

Aviva said earlier this year that whiplash claims add £118 to every motorist’s annual policy cost and premiums had risen by 80%, since October 2008, due to the increases in personal injury claims, particularly those of the whiplash variety.

The ABI found that 8 of every 10 personal injury claims following road traffic incidents were for whiplash, twice the average of France, Spain and the Netherlands.

The ABI launched a campaign in April, in which they called for whiplash claimants to be forced to undergo stringent medical examinations by independently appointed experts.

We at Watershed Claims Services are committed to assisting insurers and other clients to provide a high quality, bespoke service, to combat this topical issue. Please contact us, using the details provided on our website, to discuss how we can help minimise your claims spend.

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